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Old 10.08.2019, 10:59
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So..tell me about garden railroads, please

These garden trains are a concept I never really knew existed or paid much attention to previously. Although I have decent mechanical experience, model railroading or anything similar has never been an area. However, I have an almost 2 year old boy that seems to have an unexplained fascination with trains. So now I'm more open to possibilities.

I'm not sure how to formulate an actual question because I don't understand what a garden railroad is exactly or how/why/ etc. I just know that the size he seems most able to manipulate well and not destroy is the Playmobil/LGB/G scale. I've been studying a bit and am familiar with general terms, brands, and scales but that's about it.

Any perspectives from parents, modelers, hobbyists, would be welcome. Thanks.
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Old 10.08.2019, 11:19
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

It all depends on what you want. If you just want a small track of a couple of meters almost anything can do and you can just take it in and out when you please. If you want an entire steady installation than all is possible but it might become a whole and expensive project, and above certain lengths you need extra power supplies or even have to choose for battery driven locs.

Most used is track size G

Step 1 is to make a drawing of what you want, and perhaps take a look at some of the trains, I've seen a few in Zürich on my walks, but don't know the exact addresses anymore.

Last edited by EdwinNL; 10.08.2019 at 11:38.
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Old 10.08.2019, 11:24
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

There is (or was) one near the Katzensee.

This one is cool: https://www.swissvapeur.ch/en/

Tom
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Old 10.08.2019, 11:40
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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Yes. Hugely popular with the train-obsessed autistic son of a good friend of ours*, who visited us here for the second time last week. Going on the trains again was a key component of the trip for him.

*And, I suspect, his father, who shows a surprising lack of reluctance to take him there. Must be good to have such an excuse.
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Old 10.08.2019, 11:41
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

Here is one for a larger garden:



From: https://www.vaporama.ch/dampfbahn-schadaupark/
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Old 10.08.2019, 11:57
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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There is (or was) one near the Katzensee.


Tom
Still there: https://www.dampfbahn-katzensee.ch/

OP, he's 2. Get him one of those wooden train play sets. If he's still playing with it at 4, think about a garden layout (and consider that this may well escalate into getting a lathe, milling machine, brazing torch...).
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Old 10.08.2019, 13:25
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

... and if he's still interested at age 6, teach him as much as possible about building, maintaining and repairing the trains and tracks himself.
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Old 10.08.2019, 14:36
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

My husband is into all sorts of model railroading including the Garden variety.
Your son will get the most joy out of the wooden trains at this age. If your really want to try the garden railroad, you will need track in G scale, which you can buy in sets on Ricardo/ebay. The LGB stuff is the best, if you are going to leave it outside. The Chinese knock-offs are ok, but not as weather resistant. Sometimes they rust or oxydise, which will lead to poor power transfer between the pieces of track.
You will need a power pack and rolling stock. The Playmobil stuff is great if it is just for the kid. They are not authentic models and not always exactly to scale, but that won't really matter in this case. Keep in mind that it is expensive, especially if you end up buying kits to make buildings with, etc. We just build our own out of scrap materials, which is also fun.
Little kids just want to see a train go round and round, so keep it simple. Sidings etc, are not necessary.
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Old 10.08.2019, 15:13
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

We tried a few formats over the years, but the clear favourite was the Duplo train set.

They were still playing with it when they were modelling with Lego.
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Old 10.08.2019, 15:14
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

For the small kid eiter wooden Brio (or a knock off) or a Lego Duplo railway (See also Ricardo, Tutti, Anibis for additional tracks etc). For the worth of a single LGB locomotive you get a huge layout.
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Old 10.08.2019, 15:29
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

There's one near Rothenburg just north of Luzern too.

Chaernsmatt


If you want to see a private one - there's one on an apartment roof you can see from the Biberbrugg train as it comes up the hill just before Schindellegi station (on the left).
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Old 10.08.2019, 15:35
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

A link with more links (some with more links): http://www.dampfbahn-basel.ch/html/links/links.html

and do not miss the big ones:
http://www.alternatives-wandern.ch/v...lgiebahnen.htm
such as
https://www.dfb.ch/index.php?id=erleben&L=0
and
https://www.schbb.ch/
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Old 11.08.2019, 15:23
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

If you are serious about getting into garden railways I highly recommend that you get in touch and possibly join a local club. Then you can educate yourself and get the help of others in your project. There are many clubs throughout CH, one way of starting may be to visit one of their open houses to get a first impression and discussion going. Also a good way to integrate, etc.
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Old 14.08.2019, 13:17
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

And if you ever find yourself down in our neck of the woods..........


https://www.les-iles-bourgeoisiedesi...c-petit-train/


Great fun for young and old
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Old 14.08.2019, 13:50
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

Many thanks for the ride on or large scale trains open for public viewing or visitation. I’m sure he would love something like that. We e been meaning to try the Hinwil steam line, dzro?? But havent had a chance yet. Whenever we take him in the mountain gondolas, he gets super excited. The last time I took him on the incline cable car at ETH, I think we ended up with five or six rides. I know kids tastes change, but train riding/watching/ playing has been the most consistent interest.

He has some of the wooden trains and uses the LEGO Duplo stuff. He will get some additional items for upcoming birthday. We will see how that goes over.

As for seriously getting into garden railroads, I’m still not clear exactly what goes on. Is it just a train installation that people run in the garden? I guess I need more exposure to the appeal of model railroading as a hobby. As far as what motivates people to design and build certain trains and such as well as accessorize the layout, etc.

Last edited by Rjellsch; 14.08.2019 at 14:05.
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Old 14.08.2019, 14:02
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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Many thanks for the ride on or large scale trains open for public viewing or visitation. I’m sure he would love something like that. We e been meaning to try the Hinwil steam line, dzro?? But havent had a chance yet. Whenever we take him in the mountain gondolas, he gets super excited. The last time I took him on the incline cable car at ETH, I think we ended up with five or six rides. I know kids tastes change, but train riding/watching/ playing has been the most consistent interest.

As for seriously getting into garden railroads, I’m still not clear exactly what goes on. Is it just a train installation that people run in the garden? I guess I need more exposure to the appeal of model railroading as a hobby. As far as what motivates people to design and build certain trains and such as well as accessorize the layout.
He is now a little bit to young for this but you could keep it in mind, SBB offer the option to drive in the drivers seat under guidance of a professional on the S10 (Uetlibahn) and the S4 (Sihltalbahn), afterwards you'll get present and a certificate with picture.

I was planning to give this as a present to a train loving friend, but the prices are pretty high with 400,- for a single person and 550,- for two persons.
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Old 14.08.2019, 14:05
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

also worth considering is a live-steam trainset from Mamod. You can buy them online. Great fun watching a live steam engine do the rounds in your garden. Of course the sky is the limit when it comes to how much you can spend, but the basic starter pack is quite affordable. Very robust and no-frills engineering that even children can deal with.

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Old 14.08.2019, 14:22
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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As for seriously getting into garden railroads, I’m still not clear exactly what goes on. Is it just a train installation that people run in the garden? I guess I need more exposure to the appeal of model railroading as a hobby. As far as what motivates people to design and build certain trains and such as well as accessorize the layout, etc.
I think it takes a particular type of person to do that kind of thing.

In the end, it's the design and construction and the tinkering to get it right which is the fun part.

When it's finished, it's time to start something new.

In a similar way, people who renovate old houses quite often move on to a new one after living in their masterpiece for a year or two.

Other people are less interested in the engineering side of things but just like collecting locomotives etc.
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Old 14.08.2019, 14:33
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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I think it takes a particular type of person to do that kind of thing.

In the end, it's the design and construction and the tinkering to get it right which is the fun part.

When it's finished, it's time to start something new.

In a similar way, people who renovate old houses quite often move on to a new one after living in their masterpiece for a year or two.

Other people are less interested in the engineering side of things but just like collecting locomotives etc.
For many there is also the social aspect. You join a club and work on a joint project. Some people do more working than talking and others do more talking than working but they all get something out of it, and a common passion is a great basis for friendships.

Although it is still a predominantly male hobby, I am noticing an increase in the number of womenfolk getting involved too.
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Old 14.08.2019, 14:42
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Re: So..tell me about garden railroads, please

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As for seriously getting into garden railroads, I’m still not clear exactly what goes on. Is it just a train installation that people run in the garden? I guess I need more exposure to the appeal of model railroading as a hobby. As far as what motivates people to design and build certain trains and such as well as accessorize the layout, etc.
Keep in mind, if done correctly, it becomes a full time hobby and results in permanent/semi-permanent alternation of your garden for track installation, station construction, and related infrastructure. Most are done by pouring a concrete base in order to have a good foundation for the tracks, etc. Designing and building is the fun and creative part. Some like to model exactly the real thing, while others draw inspiration and create something entirely new, often creating their own line name. Working with your garden's natural features or ripping up and doing all anew are both possibilites. It involves construction techniques, electrical or steam or mechanical engineering principles, and being innovative.
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